Hanging Out with Friends: Do it on a Budget

October 9, 2013

I like going for drinks with friends. There, I said it. I tend to work 15-hour days and want to spend time unwinding with people I care about after work-but I also happen to do it a few times a week.

It’s not that I want stop taking advantage of the warm weather we’ve had the last few days but rather, I want to keep more money in my pocket. As a result, I’ve taken a look at how to cut back on the spending, but not on the fun.  We all know the perks of saving money. There are plenty of blogs that can tell you that. That being said, I’m not here to preach about getting an annuity quote, but to give practical advice on saving money.

Dining in:

Eating in is the most obvious solution for the chronic diner but somehow goes forgotten. Only a fool would pass on cooking the same lacklustre pasta I get from the restaurants at home. I can save myself, and my guest, at least $20/meal. That adds up fairly quickly and the funny thing is, some meals are better at home.

Save money when hanging out with friends, ways to save money, dinner recipe, pasta salad recipe

Free shows & events:

Every city hosts a number of events every week. The key is finding something that is of interest to you and heading there to enjoy with people you care about. For example, one of the most popular free events in Toronto started this weekend: Nuit Blanche. The city showcased artwork from around the world and crowds flocked to see it.


No, that was not a mistake. Pre-drinking can save you a ton of money if your goal is to go out and get highly inebriated. I do not recommend this if you’re just planning a casual evening with the girls, but tailgating or before a big night at a bar is a perfectly acceptable venue for this.

Coffee dates:

A cup of coffee costs less than $2 while dinner and drinks can cost upwards of $30. If the point is to spend time with your friends and catch up (or gossip), meals aren’t entirely necessary. If you’re really trying to save money, you can always bypass buying coffee as well and make it all about the lovely company you’re with.


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  • Tahnya Kristina October 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Love this post Marissa. And it’s so true. I love hanging out with friends but I can’t afford to spend $30 every time we go out. So we go to the movies on Tuesday when the prices are discounted and we eat cheap Mexican food before hand so we don’t spend another $20 on candy, drinks and popcorn at the theater. We can do everything that we want if we do it on a budget.

    • Kostas October 24, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      That’s a personal ‘secret’ I’ve learned. If you are going to the movies, catch the cheap showings when you can and eat prior to going. The excessive spending done in theaters is incredible. I fully agree, we can enjoy the things we like, on a budget.

  • Jon @ MoneySmartGuides October 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    When my friends and I get together, we rotate houses and the host cooks for everyone else. The guests will usually bring dessert. We then stay in and play board games. It’s a ton of fun and cheap too.

  • Demaish @ Borrowed Cents October 16, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Hahaha..When I was younger, my friends and I used to pre-drink a lot before going to the club where beer was more expensive. Definitely a way to save money.

  • GetRichWithMe October 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    We have a 13 month old baby – most of our socialising is now done in one our local parks pushing a pram.
    I don’t know which causes the biggest black hole in your finances, a baby or a luxury yacht!

  • Donny @ Personal Income October 19, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Must of the time when I hang out with friends it is for business reasons only, so I can write it off on my taxes. This is the best way that I choose to save money.